I write. I write a lot. I write about how I’m feeling, about the thoughts I’m having, I write about the unusual behaviours I engage in. I write a lot but I’m not convinced that what I actually want to say gets out. I think what I’m trying to say gets ironed out by idealistic visions of what I think my life ought to resemble. I see so much, read so much, hear so much about what it means to live a “full” life. I don’t think a single one of us are unfamiliar with these messages, the ones that tell you to, “do what you love.”
Ugh, I’ve said that to so many students and clients, to friends and family members. I’ve told them to stop doing the things that make them miserable and start harnessing the courage to chase their dreams. You want to make movies - start filming, you want to work outside - open the door, you want to dance - put on some music and groove. I’ve only started to really consider what I’m saying when I tell them this. I’m attempting to give advice, the advice I think they need to hear, maybe the advice I think that they want to hear. But is it really advice? Or is just me repeating a message I’ve heard elsewhere, a message that I think motivates people to chase a happy life? I’ve got to be truthful and say I think it’s been the latter. A case in point example of textbook learning. It’s all done in good faith of course, because I do sincerely want you to be happy. I want you to live a happy life. But what I’ve been questioning lately is if this advice is ignorant of reality? Is the way I’m saying, “do what makes you happy” honouring present-minded living?
Break down the statement, “do what makes you happy”. Firstly, you have to do and doing can be hard as shit, especially when you’re unsure how to do it and/or if you’re incapable of doing it at that time. Secondly, comes the what. Wait, what what? Exaaactly. Some people are fortunate to know what they love. Others kind of sort of know. Others still are completely oblivious. Figuring out what you love is hard. It’s really hard. Think of how many people, places, things and activities there are to love in this world. How do you choose? Do you even get to choose or do you wait for it to find you? What if you find multiple things you love, how do you choose which to pursue? Or can you pursue both? Yeah, when broken down the statement can be a little intimidating. Is there a better way to say what I really mean?
I don’t want to be unconscious in the advice I’m giving my students and clients. I don’t want to speak falsehoods and appear unmoved and uninterested in what they’re going through at that moment. I do not want the ones I care about to think I’m more concerned with the result than the process. Because that’s just it…
The process is where the “full-living” occurs. It’s where we learn what we love, what to do and how to do it. It’s where we shake hands with ourselves. I honestly think if we all stopped living in such a seeking way and started living in a more exploratory way we’d probably have a different life perspective. If we stop focusing on what we’re “seeking” (whatever that even is), we can start focusing on the adventure itself, every magical moment of that adventure. We can be free. We can be present and feel out what we love in a pressure free and relaxed way. Sounds pretty damn nice eh?
There is no need to seek. There is only the need to explore. There is no finish line. There is only an unpredictable adventure on a path littered with peaks and valleys. Don’t overlook the journey because you’re fixated on arriving at your ideal life’s doorstep – this doorstep doesn’t exist. Only you exist. Your body, your mind and your soul. Do what makes the here-and-now-you happy. Keep taking care of that you and you won’t need to “do” in pursuit of idealistic visions. You’ll only need to “do” what feels good in the moment, and THAT is doing what makes you happy.
The honest learnings and raw reflections of my practice and my life. Unedited.